Native κ-carrageenan induced-colitis is related to host intestinal microecology.


Human Health Research Laboratory, College of Food Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, Shandong, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, has gradually emerged as a public health challenge worldwide. Carrageenan is a popular food additive that has been in use for decades. However, controversy exists regarding to the safety of carrageenan due to its exacerbation of colitis in experimental models. In this study, we studied the effects of vehicle and host intestinal microflora on carrageenan inflammatory properties in C57BL/6 J mice. We found that in high-fat diet model, native carrageenan in drinking water increased the disease activity index (DAI), myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and the mRNA expression of TLR4 in colon, whereas carrageenan-supplemented diet has no visible effects. However, no signs of colitis were observed under low-fat diet regardless of the mode of vehicle used. Moreover, we discovered that carrageenan-induced colitis in high-fat diet model was robustly correlated with changes in the composition of gut microbiota, specifically Alistipes finegoldii and Bacteroides acidifaciens. Hence, we propose that the inflammatory property of carrageenan is influenced greatly by its intake form via modification of host intestinal microecology.


Colitis,Host intestinal microbiota,κ-Carrageenan,

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